Wednesday 12 October 2011

Day 192: New Mexico Museum of Art

Indios, by Ray Martin Abeyta
New Mexico isn't all about Georgia O'Keefe.  Santa Fe is full of art museums and galleries, most of them in amazingly beautiful buildings. This is my favourite painting from the exhibition at the New Mexico Museum of Art called How The West Is One.   Paintings in this exhibition are mostly about two things: changing visions of the interaction between Native and European Americans and the beauty of the landscape.  Well, there is also a little section on the development of nuclear weaponry, which happened not far from here.  What a place!

Anyway, this painting, obviously, is about the confusion of Christopher Columbus who wasn't quite sure where he had arrived when he started dishing out the name 'Indian', even though it seems to have stuck.  What I really like about this painting, other than its extreme artifice is the optical effect of the two layers of eyes on the Indian on the left.  My brain just didn't know what to do with it, and I'm so used to optical illusions these days, that not many of them phase me.

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